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Children and young people in crisis to benefit from new mental health programme

19 Jul 2016

West London Mental Health Trust is delivering an innovative new pilot programme to provide better integrated mental healthcare for children and young people in crisis.

The trust is one of six areas chosen by NHS England to be taking on new commissioning powers for tertiary mental health services. Together with Central and North West London NHS Trust, the Priory Group, NHS England and local commissioners, we will be delivering this pilot with the aim reducing the number of patients going to out of area beds, and delivering care safely in the community where possible.CAMHS therapy session

Children from the North West London area (Brent, Harrow, Hillingdon, Central London, West London, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow and Ealing) will benefit from the 12 month pilot project, which will integrate the currently separate parts of the mental health pathway.

The goal is to deliver immediate crisis help for children and young people which can meet the response times we have come to expect in physical health services, and which the trust has achieved in its adult services with the launch of a Single Point of Access telephone service.

The trust will be able to manage the inpatient beds for eating disorders for young people, building on the community eating disorder services launched in June 2016.

Dr Vijay Parkash, CAMHS and developmental services clinical director, said: “We are delighted to have been selected as a pilot site for testing new models of care for CAMHS services.

“This is great news for young people and their families, as we believe our new model of care will integrate the currently separate parts of the mental health pathway for children and young people in crisis. This will improve safety and the quality of care and patient experience, whist delivering efficiencies which can be reinvested in local services.”

It is vital that patients and their carers are involved in designing this New Model of Care. The trust discussed the proposal with a service user representative, who said: “I think this is definitely a good idea [to strengthen Tier 3 Care to respond better when children or young people are in crisis] and would be better than admission as CAMHS will know the person.

“Coming to CAMHS is what helped me more than going into hospital. Hospital just made me realise that I didn’t want to go back there. Having an outreach based service for people in crisis would be really useful… they could see them at home like the [adult] Home Treatment Team does.”

This new pilot programme is part of NHS England’s ‘Five Year Forward View for Mental Health’, which sets out how the NHS will meet the recommendations of the Mental Health Taskforce.